Here is the Republican default talking point in one easy visual:
No matter what else is going on in the world, in our own country, schools, hospitals, disaster areas, civil rights arenas, you can always count on the GOP to shout "BENGHAZI!!!!" from their multi-million dollar vacation home rooftops.
GOP Rep. Darrell Issa, House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman, has made a career out of witch hunting. He looks for scandals where there are none in the hope that one day... one dreamy, gauze-filtered, sunlit blue-skied day... he'll find something to pin on President Obama and fulfill all his impeachment wishes.
But oops, awhile back, Darrell Issa’s Benghazi document dump damaged U.S. efforts, putting Libyans working with U.S. in danger. While
hyperventilating investigating the attacks on the consulate, he disclosed the identities of Libyans who were helping United States officials.
But that didn't stop Darrell the Witch Hunter, nosireeBob! The Los Angeles Times is reporting that he's determined to keep pushing his
luck b.s. hysteria, lies, and redundantly false accusations come hell or hot water. And no, that was no typo, he may be in more hot water.
Two of the Justice Department's key witnesses were subpoenaed to appear on Capitol Hill for hours of grilling about "BENGHAZI!!!!" They gave separate legal depositions about any security lapses and how the Obama administration responded.
Now comes the part about how Witch Hunter Darrell might have, once again, blown it big time:
Weeks before the interviews, top Justice Department officials repeatedly warned Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Vista) against doing so, saying it would seriously jeopardize any criminal prosecution of the terrorists. They wrote three times to the chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, strongly urging him not to insist on interviewing the agents.
The interviews have not been released. But the Justice Department expressed concern that Issa might reveal some details from the interviews, or that defense lawyers could subpoena them if suspects are apprehended, according to the sources, who did not have permission to speak publicly, citing the ongoing investigation. At least one person has been named in a sealed indictment in the Benghazi attacks.
The interviews "would prematurely alert individuals who may be charged about details of the government's case against them," and would give defense lawyers a golden opportunity to review the depositions and impeach the agents if they testified as prosecution witnesses, the Justice Department warned in one of the letters, according to sources.
Oh that wacky, zany Issa. He's such a super-patriot.
More at the link.
Here is an update on the Boston Marathon bombing case, via NBC:
Three college friends of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev were charged Wednesday with removing a backpack and fireworks from his dorm room or lying about it to the feds.
Azamat Tazhayakov and Dias Kadyrbayev were charged with conspiring to obstruct justice. Robel Philipos was charged with making false statements, federal authorities said. [...]
Tazhayakov and Kadyrbayev, who are from Kazakhstan, had been detained April 20 on immigration charges. Philipos was taken into custody later. [...]
... Kadyrbayev texted him about it, a criminal complaint said.
Tsarnaev's responses included the messages "lol," "you better not text me" and "come to my room and take whatever you want," the court document said. [...]
They... "collectively decided to throw the backpack and fireworks into the trash because they did not want Tsarnaev to get in trouble," Kadyrbaev told agents, according to the complaint.
Lulz. What a riot. Oh em gee.
Apparently, they had no prior knowledge of the bombing. One suspect kept changing his story, and on the fourth interview he finally told the truth, so he could get an 8 year penalty, as opposed to the five years his buddies are facing, per Michael Isikoff just now on MSNBC.
More details at the link. And here's a PDF of the criminal complaint filed against the recent FBI arrestees.
Which party was it again, that withheld all that money for embassy security improvements, the money that would have kept our diplomats abroad safer?
As I posted previously, per a fascinating post at Down With Tyranny, the loudest nonstop accuser, McCain, said that Ambassador Stevens “sent concerns about security, voiced them to me.” And then McCain himself chose to do nothing, instead doing his “look over there” routine with the help of his faithful sidekick Lindsey Graham. Why is that? Well, maybe because of his own failure to support an increase in the security budget, or maybe his story isn’t true, or maybe to divert attention away from the fact that he chose to do nothing when he got direct information from Ambassador Stevens about his safety concerns.
The Economist explained why a Benghazi cover-up by the administration would make absolutely no sense.
Now, per The Hill, Dems are blasting the GOP over the absurd Benghazi charges against Hillary Clinton. More like this, please:
Republicans should apologize to Hillary Clinton for the “false accusations” that she personally signed off on security cuts at the Benghazi mission prior to last year's attack, the top Democrat on the House oversight panel said Thursday.
The allegations are “false, extremely irresponsible, and lack even a rudimentary understanding of how State Department cables are processed,” Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) wrote in a letter to Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio). “I respectfully request that you retract your erroneous staff report and apologize to Secretary Clinton on behalf of your Chairmen and your Republican conference.”
Here are a few screen grabs of Rep. Cummings' letter. He put the Republicans in their place with a blistering exposé of their embarrassing and false claims:
In a previous post, "How the gun lobby has already blocked Boston’s bombing investigators," I shared a video of Lawrence O'Donnell explaining how the NRA has already obstructed forensic officials from fully investigating the Boston Marathon explosions. MSNBC:
But a crucial piece of evidence called a taggant that could be used to trace the gunpowder used in the bombs to a buyer at a point of sale is not available to investigators.
“If you had a good taggant this would be a good thing for this kind of crime. It could help identify the point of manufacturer, and chain of custody,” Bob Morhard, an explosives consultant and chief executive officer of Zukovich, Morhard & Wade, LLC., in Pennsylvania, who has traced explosives and detonators in use in the United States and Saudi Arabia, told MSNBC.com. [...]
NRA officials seem more concerned about government use of technology to trace either firearms or the gunpowder used to make ammunition. [...] In the past, the NRA has argued that taggants could affect the trajectory of bullets and would also be a de facto form of weapons registration, reported the Los Angeles Times in 1995.
NRA lobbyists blocked the mandated use of taggants by gunpowder manufacturers. The NRA has therefore made it harder to track (mass) murderers.
The FBI said that gunpowder was an ingredient in the bombs planted along the Boston Marathon finish line. However, per The Hill:
Under current law, people can buy up to 50 pounds of explosive "black powder" with no background check, and can buy unlimited amounts of other explosive powders, such as "black powder substitute" and "smokeless powder."
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Tuesday introduced a bill that would require background checks to be run on anyone buying explosive powder, a reaction to last week's Boston Marathon bombing.
Reid introduced the bill on behalf of Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), who was out sick for some time. His bill would require a background check for the purchase of any of the powders. Plus, the attorney general could block sales of explosives if a background check shows the person applying for one is a known or suspected terrorist, and if there is reason to believe that the explosives would be used for terrorism.
A permit would also be required for making homemade explosives.
Greg Sargent has more, including this:
Aside from the substantive merits of the proposal, one of the political goals here is to challenge Republicans by testing just how far they are willing to go in opposing governmental action of this kind... to see if there is anything that Republicans are willing or ideologically able to support or if there is any common ground to be found anywhere.
Or do they just want innocent people to keep dying so they can eke a few more votes from their rabidly gun-supporting base, and pocket more cash from gun manufacturers and the NRA? Rhetorical.
Today's L.A. Times letter to the editor, because our voices matter:
Now that we know there is a "public safety" exception to constitutional rights like the Miranda warning guaranteed by the 4th, 5th and 6th Amendments, can we please admit that we need a "public safety" exception to the 2nd Amendment?
The families of future school and theater shootings deserve nothing less.
FYI, per an email alert from Politico:
The Department of Justice released a statement Monday saying that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the younger suspect in the Boston Marathon bombing, has been charged "with using a weapon of mass destruction against persons and property". The Associated Press reported he was charged while in the hospital.
Also Monday, White House press secretary Jay Carney said Tsarnaev "will not be treated as an enemy combatant."
Politico's full story is here, where they report that "the charges against 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev remain sealed. He is listed in serious but stable condition."
Under U.S. law, this is the way it's done. Imagine that, a French gay Kenyan Marxist president and his Justice Department sticking to the rule of law and seeking justice for the bombing victims in U.S. civilian courts, just the way they should.
The charges are preliminary and are "holding charges to get the process started" per MSNBC's Pete Williams.
UPDATE: I am ashamed of some "liberals" in my Twitter stream who are wishing torture on Tsarnaev. That is not who we are, and that is not acceptable.
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